Louages in Tunisia are probably the most efficient way to explore the North African country.
There’s not much information about taking them online, so I thought If’d write this blog post explaining how to take shared taxis in Tunisia!
You can use louages to travel between cities in Tunisia; this post is based on my recent trip from Tunis to Sousse.
However, I’ve been assured that these shared taxis connect cities all over the country.
They’re cheap and they run frequently throughout the day.
If you’re not used to busy transport depots, it can be a bit overwhelming when you arrive at the louage station initially, but in our experience, everyone was very helpful.
Here’s how to take a louage in Tunisia.
Find the depot
Most Tunisian cities have at least one louage depot.
We went to Station Loauge Moncef Bay, Tunis to find our shared taxi to Sousse.
I found this depot by searching on Google Maps, reading reviews on Google, and then checking with my hotel receptionist that it existed!
She assured me that it did, so we took a taxi there.
We were staying in MAIA Suites near Tunis-Carthage Airport (which I can highly recommend – click here to see their Booking.com page), and we took a Bolt taxi, which took about half an hour and cost 10.50 dinars.
Bolt (similar to Uber) works quite well in Tunis, but you do always need to pay in cash.
Our driver knew the depot and took us right to the entrance.
He was very friendly and spoke a little English – but in Tunisia, a bit of French goes a long way and we had fun trying to practice our long-forgotten French we learned in school!
Board the louage
Walking into the depot can be quite overwhelming.
There are dozens of minibusses, plus there was a huge queue of people for one ticket station – on first glance, we thought that we had to join this queue and we’d be there for hours!
There were a few signs in Arabic, but also signs with the names in French, and we quickly picked out the one saying “Sousse”, contemplating either joining the queue or just heading there and seeing if we could pay on the bus.
As we stood there, probably looking a little lost, somebody quickly helped us, asking us where we were going and then ushering us to come with him.
He first took us to another ticket office (with no queue!) around the corner, and then found the driver who directed us straight to the coach.
We hadn’t actually bought the tickets at this point, but from taking shared taxis in other countries in the past, we knew that it’s usually paid on board.
We were directed to an empty louage, which was, as we expected, under the “Sousse” sign, dumped our bags in the boot and my partner stayed with the louage while I took some photos (for this blog post!).
I barely had time to take a few before I saw a crowd at the louage, and thought I’d better go and claim my seat!
The vehicle quickly filled up, and after a few adjustments to the boot to ensure that everyone’s luggage could fit, we were on our way – barely 15 minutes after arriving at the station.
The louage journey
Tunisian louages are minivans that sit up to ten passengers: three in the back, three in the middle and two in the front next to the driver.
Richard, my partner, is two metres/ 6 foot 4 tall and frequently struggles on public transport around the world (I’m 159 cm/ 5 foot 2 so don’t have that problem!). But he commented that it was more spacious than a lot of other shared taxis and buses!
We sat in the back with one other passenger, but it didn’t feel cramped at all.
I’d read a little about louages driving at hair-raising speeds, but while the driving in Tunis was quite chaotic, the rest of the journey felt pretty calm.
We were asked to pay about 20 minutes into the journey; it cost 12 dinar per person.
We arrived in Sousse less than two hours after leaving Tunis.
Arriving in Sousse
We arrived at the Station Louage de Sousse in the south of the city. It was quite similar to the depot in Tunis; a large covered yard with lots of louages going to different places and a few kiosks.
In broken French, we had a quick conversation with the driver, who kindly offered to take us to the town centre (the centre-ville) if we stayed in the louage; but as our hotel was north of Sousse, we opted to take a taxi from there. He advised us to take a “taxi jaune” (yellow taxi).
We jumped in a taxi straight away, checked that he was using the meter, and he drove us 10 minutes to reach our hotel.
The taxi cost just 3.50 dinars on the meter.
Louages in Tunisia: would I recommend?
If you’re looking for an efficient and cheap way to travel between cities in Tunisia, I’d definitely recommend taking a louage.
They can take a little bit of sussing out, but in our experience, everyone was very friendly and helpful once we arrived at the station.
Our journey was hassle-free and simple, and we arrived in Sousse with most of the afternoon still!